The Grey Area

The Sacred Unveiled: Part 1, Introduction

August 21, 2020 By Géranne Darbouze Religion is a driving force in culture, and this is especially evident in Spain. From Ancient Egyptian cults to the pagan rituals that helped fuel the Roman empire, to the Islamic traditions of the Ottoman Turks, to the animistic beliefs of West and Central Africa, religions have developed methods […]

The Sacred Unveiled: Part 2, El Greco

August 21, 2020 By Géranne Darbouze Doménikos Theotokópoulos (1541–1614), better known as El Greco, was a Mannerist artist born in Greece and active in Spain during the later 16th and early 17th centuries. Fascinated with the depiction of religious subject matter, he worked hard to perfect his presentation of such images. Between the 1540s and […]

The Sacred Unveiled: Part 3, Juan de Valdés Leal

August 21, 2020 By Géranne Darbouze In considering the notion of the ideal nobleman in the context of Baroque Spain, we must attend to the work of painter Juan de Valdés Leal, who was a primary influence on the religious experiences of visitors not only to the hospital and chapel of Santa Caridad in Seville, […]

The Sacred Unveiled: Part 4, Luisa Roldán

August 21, 2020 By Géranne Darbouze Luisa Roldán (1652–1706), also known as La Roldana, was an enormously influential woman sculptor of the 17th century, and in considering the topic of landscape in Spanish Mannerist and Baroque Nativity-related scenes, Roldán’s The Repose in Egypt should not be overlooked. A polychrome terracotta sculpture dating from near the […]

The Sacred Unveiled: Part 5, Francisco de Zurbarán

August 21, 2020 By Géranne Darbouze Another artist known primarily for his religious works, whose art also speaks volumes about the artistic entanglement of painting and sculpture, is the Spanish Baroque painter Francisco de Zurbarán (1598–1664). A passionate follower of the Catholic faith, Zurbarán crafted his images from a combination of real-life models and the […]

IFA Contemporary Asia: The Power of Student Initiatives

June 3, 2020 By Eana Kim One year ago, a small group of passionate students from the Institute of Fine Arts (IFA), NYU’s graduate program in Art History—including Han Hongzheng, Kolleen Ku, and the author—conceived the idea to launch a forum on contemporary Asian art.[1] We all shared the same goal, to establish a platform […]

Collection Spotlight: Norman Bluhm and Frank O’Hara’s “Poem-Paintings”

May 20, 2020 By Luke Campbell In the artistic whirlpool of the New York School—a coterie of painters, poets, dancers, musicians, and photographers in mid-20th-century New York City—a poet and a painter got together and splashed words and paint on sheets of paper. The poet Frank O’Hara—also an art critic and curator, and the personable […]

Artist Spotlight: Dia al-Azzawi

May 19, 2020 By Géranne Darbouze Taking into account their geographic locations and their religious and political histories, artists from the Arab world occupy a unique position. As a result, many have dedicated their lives to highlighting injustice — among them Iraqi artist Dia al-Azzawi. Known for his abstract paintings, sculptures, and tapestries, Azzawi is […]

In Memoriam: Thomas Sokolowski

May 11, 2020 By Michèle Wong It is with a deep sense of sorrow that I write about the passing of Thomas Sokolowski, who served as director of NYU’s Grey Art Gallery from 1984 to 1996. During his tenure, Tom organized many groundbreaking exhibitions and was a co-founder of Visual AIDS—but what I treasure most […]